Michael Chance

Biography

Born: March 7, 1955; Penn, Buckinghamshire  
Michael Chance is a leading British countertenor, in worldwide demand for male alto parts in opera, and as a recital, concert, and recording artist. He was a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge -- an adult-voice singer at the famous Choir of King's College Cambridge, receiving a full scholarship for singing daily services in the College Chapel during the school term. His major subject at Cambridge was English, but he received thorough Read more musical and vocal training as a matter of course as a choral scholar.

After graduation, he studied voice with Rupert Bruce Lockhart. His operatic debut was in the Buxton festival, where he sang the part of Apollo in Ronald Eyre's production of Cavalli's Giasone in 1983. He was a member of Kent Opera for three seasons. In 1985, his European debut was in Lyon, as Andronico in Handel's Tamerlano (1985).

He rapidly established a strong reputation. He is one of the newer sort of countertenor, whose vocal production is well supported and natural-sounding. As the bulk of the countertenor repertory is in Baroque opera, he has sung Tolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Ottone in Handel's Agrippina and Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, and as Orpheus in both the Gluck and Monteverdi operas.

However, he is equally admired for his performances in newer operas featuring countertenors, and his roles in twentieth century opera include Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Voice of Apollo in the same composer's Death in Venice, the Military Governor in Judith Weir's A Night at the Chinese Opera, and in Harrison Birtwistle's The Second Mrs. Kong. The latter two parts were written for him, for he is active in promoting new works. Composers he has worked with include Alexander Goehr, Richard Rodney Bennett, John Tavener, Anthony Powers, Tan Dun, and Elvis Costello.

He has sung at major opera houses such as the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, La Scala of Milan, at Covent Garden in London, and in opera houses in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Sydney.

Chance has made over 50 recordings, including the Grammy Award-winning release of Handel's Semele with John Nelson conducting. Other recordings include Mozart's Ascanio in Alba, Goehr's The Death of Moses, and Rolf's Carmina burana as well as the major oratorios and choral works of Handel and Bach. He appears in major festivals, such as the Glyndebourne Summer Opera, the Edinburgh Festival, the Salzburg Festival, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His concert appearances have taken him to major cities of Europe, the United Kingdom, North America, Japan, and Australia.

As a chamber recitalist he often works with the Baroque viol ensemble Fretwork and with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert. He teaches at the Royal College of Music as a Visiting Professor. Read less
Bach: Lutheran Masses Vol 2 / Argenta, Chance, Harvey, Et Al
Release Date: 03/28/2000   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 653   Number of Discs: 1
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Britten: Death In Venice / Hickox, Chance, Langridge
Release Date: 03/22/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10280   Number of Discs: 2
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Bach: Early Cantatas Vol 1 / Kirkby, Chance, Harvey, Et Al
Release Date: 03/22/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 715   Number of Discs: 1
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The Sypres Curten Of The Night / M Chance, C Wilson
Release Date: 05/23/2000   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 538   Number of Discs: 1
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Bach: Early Cantatas Vol 3 - Weimar 2 / Kirkby, Chance, Daniels
Release Date: 09/30/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 752   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 51-75 of 161 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    England My England - Music From Original Soundtrack
    Label: Voiceprint   Catalog: 1572 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  David Blackadder,  Michael Chance,  James Bowman,  Jennifer Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    CD: $17.99
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  • 52.
    Henry Purcell - England, My England
    Label: Tony Palmer Films   Catalog: 1475 Release Date: 09/15/2009  
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Paul Agnew,  Michael Chance,  Nancy Argenta,  Lynne Dawson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
    DVD: $17.99
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  • 53.
    Bach: Cantatas Bwv 140 & 147 / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 431809 Release Date: 08/31/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Stephen Varcoe,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Michael Chance,  Ruth Holton
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
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  • 54.
    Bach: Cantatas Vol 4 / Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists
    Label: Soli Deo Gloria Records   Catalog: 156 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Kuhnau
    Performer:  Katharine Fuge,  Richard Wyn Roberts,  Kobie van Rensburg,  Stephan Loges  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
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  • 55.
    Santa Cecilia - Purcell, Handel, Haydn
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 66356 Release Date: 05/19/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Helen Donath,  Thomas Allen,  Robert Tear,  Sally Burgess  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Corboz,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Andrew Parrott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon,  Gulbenkian Foundation Chorus Lisbon,  Cambridge King's College Choir  ... 
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  • 56.
    Tavener: Fall & Resurrection / Hickox, Rozario, Chance
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 841 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Tavener
    Performer:  Patricia Rozario,  Michael Chance
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 57.
    Handel - The Masterworks [30 CDs]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001275302 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Paul Harvey,  Alison Hagley,  Susan Gritton,  Andreas Scholl  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul McCreesh,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Players,  Gabrieli Consort,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 58.
    The NMC Songbook
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 150 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Roderick Williams,  Rupert Bawden,  Bayan Northcott,  Emily Howard  ... 
    Performer:  Iain Burnside,  Roderick Williams,  Huw Watkins,  Jean Rigby  ... 
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  • 59.
    Purcell Edition, Vol. 1: Dido And Aeneas; King Arthur; The Fairy Queen
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4692016 Release Date: 03/09/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Steve Dugardin,  Jonathan Arnold,  Sophie Marin-Degor,  Véronique Gens  ... 
    Conductor:  William Christie,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants,  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir
    CD: $29.99
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  • 60.
    Altus - From Castrato To Countertenor
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 35476 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Paul A. Martini,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Derek Lee Ragin,  Suzie LeBlanc,  Gérard Lesne,  David Daniels  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Gérard Lesne,  Moses Hogan,  David Hill  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Teatro Lirico,  Seminario Musicale,  Moses Hogan Singers  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 61.
    Handel: L'Allegro il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet Music / Gardiner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 469620 Release Date: 02/17/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Maldwyn Davies,  Jennifer Smith,  Martyn Hill,  Patrizia Kwella  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    CD: $29.99
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  • 62.
    Handel: Semele, Israel In Egypt, Zadok The Priest, La Resurrezione / Gardiner, Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 469611 Release Date: 02/17/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Klaus Mertens,  Guy de Mey,  Nancy Argenta,  Guillemette Laurens  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Monteverdi Choir,  Monteverdi Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 63.
    A Song More Silent - McDowall, Plowman, O'Regan, Beamish
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2147 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cecilia McDowall,  Lynne Plowman,  Tarik O'Regan,  Sally Beamish
    Performer:  Sophie Bevan,  Alexandra Stevenson,  Sebastian Comberti,  Carolyn Dobbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolae Moldoveanu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Mozart Players,  Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir
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  • 64.
    Monteverdi: L'incoronazione Di Poppea / Rousset, Grant Murphy, Chance
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 925 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Heidi Grant Murphy,  Michael Chance,  Claron McFadden,  Cynthia Haymon  ... 
    Conductor:  Christophe Rousset
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Talens Lyriques
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  • 65.
    Monteverdi: L'orfeo / Stubbs, Ainsley, Netherlands Opera
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 929 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  John Mark Ainsley,  Juanita Lascarro,  David Cordier  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Stubbs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tragicomedia,  Concerto Palatino
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  • 66.
    Countertenors - James Bowman, Michael Chance, Andreas Scholl
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4391 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Dowland,  Henry Purcell,  John Blow,  Thomas Campion  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  David Miller,  James Bowman,  Andreas Scholl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Sonnerie,  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
    DVD: $18.99
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  • 67.
    Bach: Early Cantatas Vol 3 - Weimar 2 / Kirkby, Chance, Daniels
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 752 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Benedict Hoffnung,  Anthony Robson,  Emma Kirkby,  Charles Daniels  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
    Recommendation
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  • 68.
    Handel: Dixit Dominus, Laudate Pueri Dominum / Cleobury
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421294 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  William Kendall,  Henry Herford,  Isobel Buchanan,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Nicholas Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 69.
    Handel: Tamerlano / Gardiner, Argenta, Findlay, Ragin, Et Al
    Label: Erato Libretto   Catalog: 45408 Release Date: 05/15/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  René Schirrer,  Michael Chance,  Jane Findlay  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    On sale! $39.98
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  • 70.
    Britten: A Ceremony Of Carols / Neary, Westminster Abbey
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62615 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Ian Bostridge,  Martin Baker,  Simon Birchall  ... 
    Conductor:  Martin Neary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
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  • 71.
    Howells: Requiem, Etc;  Vaughan Williams: Mass In G / Best
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55220 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Herbert Howells
    Performer:  Thomas Trotter,  Jonathan Best,  Philip Salmon,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthew Best
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Corydon Singers
    Recommendation
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  • 72.
    The Hilliard Ensemble - Highlights From Their Catalogue
    Label: Emi Laser Series   Catalog: 67118 Release Date: 02/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Ockeghem,  William Byrd,  Richard Strauss,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  John Potter,  Rogers Covey-Crump,  Mark Padmore,  David James  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble,  Hanover Boys' Choir Members
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 73.
    De Wert: Seventh Book Of Madrigals / Rooley, Consort Of Musicke
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 90763 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giaches de Wert
    Performer:  Andrew King,  Evelyn Tubb,  Michael Chance,  Mary Nichols  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Rooley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Musicke
    Recommendation
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  • 74.
    Handel: L'allegro, Il Penseroso Ed Il Moderato; Tamerlano; Ballet Music / Gardiner
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4698383 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Michael Ginn,  Maldwyn Davies,  Patrizia Kwella,  Martyn Hill  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    CD: $29.99
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  • 75.
    Handel: Water Music, Concerti Grossi Op. 3, Israel In Egypt, Semele / Gardiner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4698385 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Robert Lloyd,  Della Jones,  Patrizia Kwella,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Monteverdi Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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